Page 1

ACE NATURE TOURS 2017 – 2018

Discover tours that blend natural history with regional culture











Wildlife & Walking in Extremadura 4

New Caledonia: Heart of the Pacific 24

Isles of Scilly 6

Wildlife of Albania 26

Wildlife in Hungary 8

Sardinia: Birds, Flowers & Nuraghi 28

Wild & Ancient Dartmoor 10

Wildlife in Norfolk 30

Islay, Jura & Colonsay 12

Wild Romania 32

Wild & Ancient Orkney 14

Iceland: History & Landscape 34

Wildlife of the Borders 16 ENQUIRIES

Arctic Finland & Norway 18

01223 841055

South Africa: Flowers of the Fairest Cape 20

Corsica: Rugged Isle of Beauty 22


Connecting Nature with Culture Dr Roland Randall, a long standing Tour Director, has invited hundreds of travellers to discover deep and multi-layered stories of landscapes. Roland, who retires from tour directing this year to take an active role in expanding ACE’s nature tours programme, explains what makes the ACE approach so distinctive.

An expert approach An ACE nature tour always starts with its expert. In recent years a number of highly experienced tour leaders have come on board, including conservationist Kevin Hand, ecologist and ornithologist Dr Peter Exley, geologist Dr Morag Hunter, biogeographer Dr Harriet Allen and botanist Professor John Parker. These experts impress me not only in their specialist subjects, but also in the broader ecology of the areas in which they have researched. Marcus Kohler for example – a keen bird and animal ecologist – has developed a fascinating and different autumn tour to the Isles of Scilly to coincide with the bird migration, interwoven with many other aspects of these islands, including their Bronze and Iron Age past (see page 6). It is this combination that exemplifies ACE’s approach to nature – an immersive blend of natural history with history, archaeology, geology and landscape (and, of course, good food!) that is very difficult to beat.

The on-tour experience This ‘approach’ extends to the feel of the tour itself. Most of our tours take us out into the field throughout the day, exploring the ecology of the localities. In the evening we hear a talk, enter into discussions or review the highlights of the day – or go to the bar or to bed instead! Nothing is compulsory, but most people find an in-depth look at natural history and how it impinges on, and is affected by, other subjects, a deeply intriguing and rewarding experience. If you haven’t experienced our nature tours before, you may well be surprised how stimulating you find them. Roland Randall, botanist, biogeographer and Chair of Trustees, The ACE Foundation



Wildlife & Walking in Extremadura APRIL 19–26, 2017

~ FP]STa^eTaa^[[X]V_[PX]bP]ScWa^dVWR^aZP]SW^[\^PZSTWTbPbX] one of the most untouched areas of Spain


~ 7XVW[XVWcbX]R[dSTcWT?Pa`dT=PcdaP[ST<^]UaPVâT_TaWP_bcWT finest raptor-watching site in Europe

Day 1 Depart Heathrow 0915 on Iberia, arriving Madrid 1240. Transfer by coach to CĂĄceres for three nights at NH Collection CĂĄceres Palacio de Oquendo.

~ BcPh abcX]WXbc^aXR2Ă&#x2021;RTaTbP]ScWT]X]PcaPSXcX^]P[UP\X[had] ]RP set deep within forests of cork oak and steppe grassland

Day 2 Morning walks in the llanos (plains) and steppe landscape around CĂĄceres (great and little bustards, Montaguâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s harriers, calandra larks), with visit to roller nesting area followed by time in CĂĄceres (World Heritage site with huge colonies of swifts, storks and lesser kestrels). Afternoon: historical walking tour of CĂĄceres.


ith its mighty Tagus and Guadiana rivers, its wild mountain ranges and its limitless rolling plains, Extremadura boasts an enticing variety of landscapes. In the springtime the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cork and holm oak dehesas are abundantly carpeted with rock roses and cistus, while the grasslands boast mile after mile of catchfly and marigold. When summer guests such as the lesser kestrel and pallid swift arrive, and winter visitors begin their migration north, the Parque Natural de MonfragĂźe can justifiably claim to be the finest raptor-watching site in Europe. Colonies of up to 200 vultures â&#x20AC;&#x201C; griffon, black and Egyptian â&#x20AC;&#x201C; make their home at PeĂąa Falcon Rock, accompanied by black storks and rock buntings. At Los Barruecos (where â&#x20AC;&#x153;Spain was bornâ&#x20AC;?, according to the locals) storks nest on huge granite boulders strewn beside remote paths. Our tour will also unravel Extremaduraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fascinating regional history, where Romans, Goths, Moors and conquistadors have all left their mark. The medieval quarter in the UNESCO-protected town of CĂĄceres ranks among Spainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finest, whilst the Roman bridge over the Tagus at AlcĂĄntara is a masterpiece. We shall spend our first three nights in CĂĄceres at the NH Collection CĂĄceres Palacio de Oquendo, a converted 16th century palace just moments away from the ancient walls, before moving to the family-owned Finca el Vaqueril. This traditional 19th century farmhouse is at the heart of a 350-hectare estate studded with granite outcrops and criss-crossed by ancient tracks known as calleja. Bee-eaters, hoopoes, orioles, booted eagles and red-rumped swallows can all be spotted from the farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s terrace, and a short walk reveals a wealth of wild flowers and majestic oaks. The bedrooms are comfortable and simply furnished, with en-suite facilities.

Day 3 Whole-day excursion to Parque Natural de MonfragĂźe (birds of prey such as golden and Spanish imperial eagles, eagle owls, black storks and griffon, Egyptian and black vultures). Walk through rare Mediterranean woodland to MonfragĂźe Castle, and PeĂąa Falcon Rock (vulture and raptor nesting areas). Free evening. Day 4 Travel via Los Barruecos (huge granite boulders, nesting white storks) and Museo Vostell Malpartida (modern art museum housed in 18th century water mill) to Navas del MadroĂąo for four nights at Finca el Vaqueril. Evening lakeside walk amongst granite boulders, with Visigothic rock-cut graves. Day 5 Walk (5 miles) through cork oak woods and plains (hoopoes, bee-eaters, bustards, thekla and calandra larks, birds of prey) to Brozas. Evening lecture: Dehesa Ecology. Day 6 Historic town of AlcĂĄntara (palaces and monasteries) in Tagus Valley (giant Roman bridge over gorge), walk beside Tagus River (former border between Spain and Portugal, now national park): nightingales, crag martins, raptors. Day 7 Walk (5 miles) through finca estate with picnic lunch. Afternoon: tour of estate to learn about cork production and famous free-roaming black Iberian pigs. Evening: barbeque (including local acorn liquors). Day 8 Transfer by coach to Madrid for 1555 flight, arriving Heathrow 1720. Cost of ÂŁ1495 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, four lunches (some picnic), six dinners with wine, water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities. Not included: travel insurance, single room supplement ÂŁ215.


CWXbc^dafX[[QT[TSQhR^]bTaePcX^]Xbc^a]XcW^[^VXbcP]ST]eXa^]\T]cP[ consultant Kevin Hand, MSc, MCIEEM, who has taken tours for ACE since ((!:TeX]WPbPb_TRXP[X]cTaTbcX]QXaSbP]STR^c^daXb\P]SWPbRPaaXTS ^dcTgcT]bXeT T[Sf^aZX]cWTD:P]SPQa^PS\PZX]VWX\P_TaUTRc director for this Spanish tour.

BOOK NOW: 01223 841055



Isles of Scilly SEPTEMBER 5â&#x20AC;&#x201C;12, 2017

~ 3XbR^eTaBRX[[hX]BT_cT\QTa^]T^UcWTQTbc\^]cWb^UcWThTPac^ enjoy the islandsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; magnificent migratory birdlife


~ 3T[eTX]c^cWTXb[P]Sb{P]RXT]cWXbc^ahPc1a^]iTP]S8a^]0VTbXcTb including Bantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Carn, Halangy Down and Porth Hellick Down

Day 1 Depart Exeter 1630 on Skybus arriving St Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1730. Transfer to St Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hall Hotel for seven nights. Evening drinks reception followed by introductory talk.

~ 4g_TaXT]RTb^\T^UcWT\^bcQTPdcXUd[R^PbcP[^dc[^^ZbX]BRX[[hUa^\ the tiny island of Gugh

Day 2 By ferry across St Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sound to St Agnes (superb maritime heath) and Gugh (spectacular coastline walks).


Day 3 Walk (wetland birdlife and coastal vegetation) to Bantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Carn (Bronze Age burial chamber), Halangy Down (Iron Age settlement), Holy Vale, Higher Moors, Porth Hellick Down (Bronze Age grave and burial chamber). Return along coastal path over Salakee Down to Old Town and church.

ith its heather-strewn moors, peaceful beaches and azure coves, Scilly, off the south western tip of Cornwall, embraces five inhabited islands and dozens of rocky outcrops, rich in sea birds. The archipelagoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location and singular maritime micro-climate endow this Atlantic haven not only with milder temperatures, freshened by the sea breeze, but also remarkable botanical and ornithological interest. With over 350 days of the year warm enough for plant growth, flora from the Canaries, South Africa, South America, Australia and New Zealand flourish across the islands, and a unique list of migratory birds find a feeding refuge on the last outpost of South Western Britain. Our September tour with ecologist and ornithologist Marcus Kohler is specially designed to coincide with the flow of autumn migration, and offers a unique window onto the spectacular birdlife of the isles. Governed by the island winds, potential sightings include the drift migration from Europe and vagrants from Asia, and arrivals from the eastern seaboard; while a breathtaking pelagic voyage allows us to search for seabird rarities such as Great and Coryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shearwaters, a range of skua species, and potentially even storm petrels, Grey phalaropes and Sabineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gulls. We stay at the three-star St Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hall Hotel on St Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, an elegant townhouse originally built for an Italian noble family. Please note the itinerary whilst on tour will be flexible to allow for tides, weather conditions and local reports of bird arrivals. Participants must be able to walk for a minimum of four miles over uneven ground, and a good level of fitness is required for this tour.

Day 4 Whole day pelagic trip in search of shearwater, skua, petrels and gulls. Day 5 By ferry to Bryher: superb coastal vegetation and heather moorland on Shipman Head Down with visits to pre-historic entrance graves and promontory fort. Day 6 Excursion by ferry to St Martinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to look out for migratory birds. Day 7 Morning: excursion by ferry to Trescoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Abbey Garden (sub-tropical gardens). Afternoon free in St Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s or optional walk on Castle Down, Tresco. Day 8 Depart St Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 0955, arriving Exeter 1055. Cost of ÂŁ2065 include: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, drinks reception, breakfast & dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities. Not included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement ÂŁ140


Marcus Kohler, BA, is an ecologist, ornithologist and Managing Director at ecological consultancy MKA Ecology. Formerly of BirdLife InternationP[WT]^fbd__^acbX]cTa]PcX^]P[R^]bTaePcX^]_a^YTRcbPbfT[[Pb[TPSX]V fX[S[XUTc^dabPRa^bbcWTf^a[S7TWPbQTT]X]e^[eTSX][TPSX]VBRX[[h c^dabU^a024bX]RT! $P]SXbeTahTgRXcTSc^QTcPZX]VP]^cWTa024 group to experience the islandsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; wonderful autumn season.

BOOK NOW: 01223 841055



Wildlife in Hungary MAY 12â&#x20AC;&#x201C;19, 2017

~ 4]R^d]cTacWTSXeTabTfX[S[XUT^U7d]VPah{bB^dcWTa]6aTPc?[PX] from wetland birdlife to traditional cattle, and from rare raptors to protected buffalo

ITINERARY Day 1 Depart Heathrow 1055 on British Airways, arriving Budapest 1610. Transfer to MĂłrahalom, near Szeged, for two nights at the ElixĂ­r Hotel.

~ ;^^Z^dcU^acWTR^d]cah{b[PaVTbc_^_d[PcX^]^UcWaTPcT]TSVaTPc bustards in the KĂśrĂśs-Maros National Park

Day 2 Morning at Lake NagyszĂŠksĂłs (wetland habitat with nesting and migratory birds possibly including bitterns, herons and lapwings) and buffalo reserve. Visit Szeged for a walking tour (city hall, Dugonics Square and Cathedral) and evening at the local Wine Festival.

~ EXbXccWT7^ac^QĂ&#x2021;Vh=PcX^]P[?PaZPD=4B2>F^a[S7TaXcPVTbXcTaXRW in birdlife where traditional land use has persisted for millennia


he landscape of Hungaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Southern Great Plain has been shaped over centuries by its major rivers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Tisza, Maros and KĂśrĂśs â&#x20AC;&#x201C; whose nutritious alluvial floodplains have made this region not only agriculturally prosperous, but also rich in wildlife. Our journey begins in and around Szeged, which in 2017 celebrates 30 years of town-twinning with Cambridge. Local contacts will introduce us to the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beautiful architecture, and we will enjoy a taste of the native culture at the annual Wine Festival. We will spend a day exploring the KĂśrĂśs-Maros National Park, where the diverse mosaic of mainly alkaline habitats supports several rare communities. In particular, the area is home to the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest population of threatened great bustards, and local experts will explain their conservation efforts as we look out over the wetlands. The HortobĂĄgy National Park is one of Hungaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foremost wildlife areas and a UNESCO World Heritage site where traditional pastoral use has been preserved for more than two millennia. Here the steppe landscape is broken up by reed-fringed fishponds, alive with marshland birds and migrating waders, and resounding with warbler song and noisy colonies of nesting herons and egrets. Raptors such as imperial eagles and redfooted falcons glide over the puszta, whilst cattle, oxen and horses are tended by herdsmen on the plains below. We stay first in the three-star ElixĂ­r Hotel in the spa town of MĂłrahalom, near Szeged, after which we spend two nights in clean and simple national park accommodation in DĂŠvavĂĄnya, ideally sited for our excursions. Our final base will be the Hotel Eger & Park in the historic city of Eger.

Day 3 Early transfer to the KĂśrĂśs-Maros National Park: White Lake at KardoskĂşt (rare saline lake), Szarvas (farm and rice fields possibly with purple herons, blackwinged stilts and collared pratincole). Transfer to DĂŠvavĂĄnya for two nights in national park accommodation. Day 4 Morning at RĂŠhely visitor centre (great bustard exhibition), VĂŠsztĹ&#x2018;-MĂĄgor (outlook tower). Afternoon at Biharuga for Bihar fish lakes and bird watching (searching for herons, spoonbills, hoopoes and eastern imperial eagle). Day 5 Via the HortobĂĄgy National Park and fish pools (morning walk looking out for purple herons, glossy ibises, spoonbills), to historic city of Eger. Three nights in Eger and the Hotel Eger & Park. Day 6 Morning walking tour of Eger. Afternoon: BĂźkk Hill Plateau, searching for a variety of woodpeckers and owls. Day 7 Whole-day exploration of the habitats of the Little HortobĂĄgy (steppe flora and fauna including possibly great white egrets, pygmy cormorants, red-footed falcons and European rollers). Day 8 Transfer to Budapest for 1710 departure, arriving Heathrow 1845. Cost of ÂŁ1785 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, five lunches (mainly packed), dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities. Not included: travel insurance, single room supplement ÂŁ70.


This tour will be led by Kevin Hand<BR<2844<PR^]bTaePcX^]Xbc ^a]XcW^[^VXbcP]ST]eXa^]\T]cP[R^]bd[cP]cfW^WPbQTT][TPSX]V fX[S[XUTc^dabU^a024bX]RT ((!8]! $WTeXbXcTSBiTVTSc^\TTc[^RP[ ecologists and national park rangers as part of the Cambridge town-twinning scheme.

BOOK NOW: 01223 841055



Wild & Ancient Dartmoor MAY 15â&#x20AC;&#x201C;18, 2017

~ CWTD:{b\^bcb^dcWTa[hd_[P]SQ^Pbcbbcd]]X]VeXTfbP]SaXRW fX[S[XUTX]cTaf^eT]fXcWPUPbRX]PcX]V\Xg^UPaRWPT^[^VhWXbc^ah myth and legend

ITINERARY Day 1 Tour assembles 1700 at the Two Bridges Hotel, Dartmoor, for three nights. Welcome drink and introductory lecture. Optional evening walk on Trendlebere Down to listen for nightjars.

~ EXbXcFXbc\P]{bF^^S^]T^UcWaTTaPaTaT\]P]cb^UWXVWP[cXcdST ancient oak woodland ~ CPZTPc^da^U7XVWTaD__PR^cc\TSXTeP[UPa\W^dbTVdXSTSQhP member of the restoration team

Day 2 Rich oak woodlands at Yarner Wood National Nature Reserve (possible pied flycatchers, redstarts and wood warblers, Haytor Granite Tramway), Trendlebere Down (sundews, orchids, Dartford warblers, butterflies), Hound Tor (abandoned medieval village).


artmoor is the last, and largest, remaining wilderness in southern England, a landscape steeped in history and culture, made famous by Sir Arthur Conan Doyleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hound of the Baskervilles. It is astonishingly rich in wildlife â&#x20AC;&#x201C; lush oak woodlands teeming with songbirds, rolling moorlands where the song of the skylark and the call of the cuckoo are still widely heard, high mire systems where dunlin breed, and fast flowing rivers where trout and dippers thrive. Today it is one of our most popular National Parks, yet Dartmoor owes its present appearance to millennia of human influence. Our tour shall venture beyond the picture-postcard image of ponies and cream teas to explore Neolithic villages, medieval farms, ancient droves and track ways, and the abandoned industrial landscapes shaped by tin, lead and granite extraction. At Yarner Wood National Nature Reserve we will look out for pied flycatchers, redstarts and wood warblers, and investigate the unique granite tramway once used to transport hewn granite blocks to the Teign Estuary to be shipped for construction around the world. A trip to the high moor will take us to eerie Wistmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wood, where lichens cling to the boughs of ancient oaks, and we also walk amongst some of the flower-rich hay meadows still to be found here. As we shall explore the area largely on foot, participants should be prepared for walks of around three miles over paths that can be uneven and muddy. Please note that itinerary changes are possible owing to changeable weather conditions. We stay throughout at the three-star Two Bridges Hotel in the heart of Dartmoor National Park, perched on the banks of the West Dart River.

Day 3 Holne Moor (rich historic landscape, home to whinchats, cuckoos and adders), Wistmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wood (atmospheric ancient oak woodland), Higher Uppacott (restored medieval longhouse). Day 4 Walk from Bronze Age settlement of Grimspound through Challacombe (abandoned medieval village) and Soussons Down (wildlife rich valley) to Headland Warren (former commercial rabbit warren). Tour disperses 1300 at the hotel. Cost of ÂŁ725 includes: accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, two lunches, dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities. Not included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement ÂŁ90.


This tour will be led by Peter Exley1BRPR^]bTaePcX^]XbcP]S^a]XcW^[^VXbcfW^f^aZbU^acWTAB?1?TcTa[XeTb^]cWTTSVT^U3Pac\^^aP]S is a Board Member of the Moor than Meets the Eye project to restore the landscapes and support the communities of the Moor.

BOOK NOW: 01223 841055



Islay, Jura & Colonsay JUNE 20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;27, 2017

~ 8b[PhcWTz@dTT]^UcWT7TQaXSTb{fX[[QT^daQPbTU^acWXbaTfPaSX]V study of the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flora and fauna


~ ;^^Z^dcU^aP]Pbc^]XbWX]VSXeTabXch^UQXaS[XUTUa^\\^^a[P]SQXaSb^U prey to rare waders and seabirds during our ferry crossings

Day 1 Tour assembles 1130 at Glasgow Central railway station (Glasgow airport 1200). Depart via Loch Lomond, Inveraray and Kennacraig to Port Askaig, Islay, for seven nights at Port Askaig Hotel.

~ 0Qb^aQcWTXb[P]Sb{2T[cXR_PbcTe^ZTSX]P]RXT]cRa^bbTbX]bRaXQTS bc^]TbP]S\TSXTeP[bca^]VW^[SbP]SXcb\^aTaTRT]cWd\P]WXbc^ah in the fascinating local museums

Day 2 Whole-day excursion to Colonsay: flowers, wildlife, Colonsay House Gardens, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Pigsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Paradiseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (remote sheltered cliff-top and sea bird colonies).


Day 3 Morning: Port Charlotte (Museum of Islay Life), Nerabus (medieval carved grave slabs), Portnahaven (crofting fields), corncrakes and seals and Frenchmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rocks (sea watch). Afternoon: Machir Bay (dunes and grasslands), Kilchoman Church, Loch Gorm.

slay is internationally famous for its birdlife, especially the rare chough, twite and corncrake. The moorlands hold birds of prey such as golden eagle, hen harrier, merlin, peregrine and short-eared owl. Both freshwater and sea lochs are the haunt of rare waders, geese, gannet, eider ducks and shag, while the ferry crossings may provide sightings of puffins, guillemots, divers, shearwaters, petrels and a chance of seeing whales or dolphins. Common and Atlantic grey seals can be seen along the coast and we may spot otters. The vegetation, too, is varied with coastal machair grasslands, woodland on the limestone, and peat bog â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so important for malt whisky â&#x20AC;&#x201C; on the poorer areas. Jura, by contrast, is one of the wildest of the Hebridean islands, with its west coast in particular being trackless and unspoilt. Abruptly changing and dramatic seascapes give way to a boggy interior inhabited by elusive red deer and soaring eagles. We will stay at the attractive 17th century Port Askaig Hotel on the shores of the Sound of Islay, where the Port Bar dates from the 16th century and carries a wide selection of Islay Malts and beers. This family-run highland inn offers easy access to Jura, Colonsay and the mainland. The group size will be restricted to 15. Participants should be comfortable walking over sometimes rugged terrain, and a good level of fitness is required for this tour.

Day 4 Whole-day excursion to Jura: walking tour with stops for birdwatching, botanising and historical sites. Day 5 Islayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lagavulin whisky distillery, Kildalton Cross and Chapel (finest surviving example of Celtic high cross), Duich Moss, Claggain Bay. Day 6 Morning: Loch Gruinart with Ardnave Loch. Afternoon walking tour towards Gortantaoid Point and returning via Loch Finlaggan. Day 7 Islay Natural History Trust Centre, the Mull of Oa moorland and spectacular cliffs (rare chough breeds along the dramatic coastline), Bowmore (Round Church). Day 8 Transfer to Glasgow. Tour disperses 1300 at Glasgow airport and 1330 at the railway station. Cost of ÂŁ1725 includes: accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, four packed lunches, dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities. Not included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement ÂŁ140. Rooms with a sea view are available at a supplement.


This tour will be led by Kevin Hand<BR<2844<PR^]bTaePcX^]Xbc^a]XcW^[^VXbcP]ST]eXa^]\T]cP[R^]bd[cP]c:TeX]WPbRPaaXTS^dcTgcT]bXeT

T[Sf^aZX]R[dSX]VQXaSP]SP]X\P[bdaeThbX]cWTD:P]SPQa^PSP]S has been leading wildlife tours for ACE since 1992.

BOOK NOW: 01223 841055



Wild & Ancient Orkney JULY 8â&#x20AC;&#x201C;15, 2017

~ BdaeThcWTb_TRcPRd[PaPaRWPT^[^VXRP[caTPbdaTb^UcWT>aZ]Th8b[P]Sb whose Neolithic monuments are a UNESCO World Heritage site


~ CPZTUTaaXTb^eTac^A^dbPhFTbcaPhP]S?P_PFTbcaPhU^aP] introduction to island life in the extreme north of Britain

Day 1 Tour assembles 1530 at Kirkwall Airport (Orkney) to coincide with arrival of Flybe flight from Edinburgh early afternoon. Transfer to the Ayre Hotel for seven nights. Evening lecture: Neolithic Orkney.

~ 4]Y^hcWTb_TRXP[>aRPSXP] ^aPP]SUPd]PUa^\\PaX]T\P\\P[bP]S bTPQXaSzRXcXTb{c^cWTaPaTP]SST[XVWcUd[BR^ccXbW_aX\a^bT

Day 2 Whole day tour of Neolithic Orkney: Stones of Stenness (3rd millennium BC Neolithic stone circle), Ring of Brodgar (ceremonial stone circle and RSPB nature reserve), Skara Brae (Neolithic village), Unstan Chambered Cairn, Maes Howe (Neolithic chambered cairn tomb). Evening lecture: Island Wildlife.


eparated from the Scottish mainland by the stormy Pentland Firth, the Orkney Islands bristle with Neolithic treasures: chambered cairns, ceremonial stone circles and one of Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most remarkable early villages. This tour encompasses the whole range of the islandsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; history, from prehistory at Skara Brae, through the Pictish and Norse periods, to 20th century events associated with Scapa Flow, which has been one of the great natural anchorages of the world since Viking times. Poetry, sagas and music will also feature during our travels, giving added resonance to these magnificent landscapes and seascapes. Much of the tour will be on the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Mainlandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, but we also enjoy the opportunity to take small ferries over to Rousay, Westray and Papa Westray, visiting fishing and crofting settlements to meet locals and begin to understand some of the challenges of island life in the extreme north of Britain. We will also be privileged to survey the unique and special Orcadian wildlife. The waters around the islands are rich in marine life, supporting grey and common seals, cetaceans, and teeming seabird â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;citiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of fulmars, kittiwakes, puffins, and guillemots. Inland, rich moorland and farmland are home to curlews and oystercatchers, as well as majestic birds of prey such as the rare hen harrier and short-eared owl. It is also home to one of the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s few endemic plants, the rare and delightful Scottish primrose. We stay throughout at the Ayre Hotel, overlooking Kirkwall harbour. Some sites require walking on rough, often boggy ground and access to some cairns can be challenging. Travel to and from Orkney is not included in the cost of this tour. We can provide a booking service for return air travel with Flybe from a number of regional airports (via Edinburgh).

Day 3 Kirkwall for 17th century Earlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Palace, Bishopâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Palace (dating from 12th century), St Magnus Cathedral (begun in 1137). Afternoon: Orphir Round Church, Stromness (Museum and The Pier Arts Centre, Orcadian geology and Scapa Flow). Day 4 Morning lecture: Viking Orkney. Rennibister Earth House, followed by ferry from Tingwall to small island of Rousay: Taversoe Tuick and Blackhammer (chambered tombs), optional visit to Knowe of Yarso (cairn). Afternoon: Midhowe Broch and Midhowe Cairn. Day 5 Yesnaby (Scottish primrose, stromatolites), Marwick Head (seabird colonies), Iron Age Broch of Gurness, Brough of Birsay (Pictish/Norse village) and Earlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Palace. Return via Hillside to look for birds of prey. Day 6 By ferry to Westray (Noltland Castle, St Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Church) and tiny island of Papa Westray: Knap of Howar (earliest standing house in Europe, possible guillemots and Arctic terns). Day 7 South Ronaldsay: Churchill Barriers (series of causeways), Italian Chapel (beautiful chapel created by Italian POWs), Isbister Chambered Cairn (â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Tomb of The Eaglesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;), St Margaretâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hope, coastal walk to Deerness (early Christian/Viking promontory site). Day 8 Transfer to Kirkwall airport in time for mid-morning Flybe flight to Edinburgh. Cost of ÂŁ1715 includes: accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities. Not included: return airfare, travel insurance, double room for single use supplement ÂŁ175.


This tour will be led by Andrew Wilson, BA, BD, FSAScot, an archaeol^VXbcP]SWXbc^aXP]fXcWP_PacXRd[PaX]cTaTbcX]WXb]PcXeTBR^c[P]SP]S member of the Pictish Arts Society. Andrew will be joined by Peter Exley, 1BRPR^]bTaePcX^]XbcP]S]PcdaP[XbcfW^f^aZbU^acWTAB?1P]SWPbP strong interest in interpreting manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s influence on our landscapes. Peter will introduce us to Orkneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s remarkable birds, plants and marine life, as fT[[PbTg_[^aX]VcWTXaTR^[^VhP]SR^]bTaePcX^]

BOOK NOW: 01223 841055



Wildlife of the Borders JULY 3â&#x20AC;&#x201C;8, 2017

~ 4g_TaXT]RTcWTQTPdchP]SPc\^b_WTaT^UcWT7^[h8b[P]S^U Lindisfarne and the Farne Islands, and the Bass Rock off the East Lothian coast

ITINERARY Day 1 Tour assembles 1600 at Alnmouth railway station, 1630 at Marshall Meadows Country House Hotel, for five nights. Welcome drink and introductory lecture.

~ 4]R^d]cTaWdVTR^[^]XTb^UbTPQXaSbX]R[dSX]VVP]]TcbP]ScTa]bPb well as grey seals and, perhaps, a porpoise or dolphin

Day 2 Whole day excursion to Lindisfarne: site of 11th century priory, exploration of island shore with waders and salt marsh vegetation.

~ 2^]caPbccWTbTR^PbcP[eXbXcbfXcWcWTfX[Sd_[P]S[P]SbRP_T^UcWT 2WTeX^c7X[[bX]=^acWd\QTa[P]S=PcX^]P[?PaZW^\Tc^^]T^UcWT few remaining herds of wild cattle in the world

Day 3 Whole day boat trip around the Farne Islands, sailing from Seahouses: land on Staple Island (puffins, kittiwakes, guillemots), cruise around Longstone (grey seal colony) and land on Inner Farne (huge Arctic tern colony).


astern Britain has only a few off-coast islands, but these enjoy a magnificently diverse birdlife. Lindisfarneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s salt marsh vegetation is home to waders and eider ducks, whilst the Farne Islands, once the abode of St Cuthbert, are uninhabited now but brimming with nesting birds in the summer. On Staple Island kittiwakes, shags and razorbills vie for a nesting place, while puffins bring sand eels back to their young in burrows under the turf. Longstone, the scene of Grace Darlingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dramatic rescue of shipwrecked crew members in 1838, is now home to a large grey seal colony. On Inner Farne we will visit St Cuthbertâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hermitage and walk between nesting Arctic terns and common terns and â&#x20AC;&#x201C; perhaps â&#x20AC;&#x201C; catch a glimpse of the rare roseate tern. North of the border we will sail out to view the gannet colony off Bass Rock, and at St Abbâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Head there may be wheatear and rock pipit on the grassland and perhaps porpoise or dolphin in the sea. As a contrast to the coastal scenery we will drive into the Cheviot Hills past displaying curlew and red grouse to see the herd of wild cattle at Chillingham, the last survivors of the huge herds of wild cattle that once roamed the forests of Britain. We stay throughout at the family-run Marshall Meadows Country House Hotel near Berwick-uponTweed, a stately Georgian mansion set in 15 acres of beautifully mature gardens and woodland.

Day 4 Morning: boat excursion to Bass Rock followed by Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick. Afternoon: St Abbâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Head (cliffs with spectacular views, over 40,000 breeding seabirds). Day 5 Whole day excursion in the Cheviot Hills in Northumberland National Park: walk in the uplands and around Chillingham Castle (wild cattle). Day 6 Tour disperses after breakfast, with optional transfer to Alnmouth railway station. Cost of ÂŁ1095 includes: accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, one packed lunch, dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities. Not included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement ÂŁ125.


This tour will be led by Kevin Hand<BR<2844<PR^]bTaePcX^]Xbc P]ST]eXa^]\T]cP[R^]bd[cP]cfXcWPb_TRXP[X]cTaTbcX]QXaSb\P\\P[b P]STR^c^daXb\:TeX]WPbRPaaXTS^dcTgcT]bXeT T[Sf^aZX]cWTD:P]S abroad, and has been leading tours for ACE since 1992.

BOOK NOW: 01223 841055



Arctic Finland & Norway AUGUST 4â&#x20AC;&#x201C;12, 2017

~ CaPeT[PQ^eTcWT0aRcXR2XaR[Tc^Tg_[^aTb^\T^U4da^_T{b[PaVTbc remaining wilderness landscapes: from taiga forest to sparse tundra and dramatic coastline

ITINERARY Day 1 Morning flight from London to Ivalo via Helsinki with Finnair. Transfer to Menesjärvi for four nights at Korpikartano Hotel.

~ 8]eTbcXVPcTcWTUPbRX]PcX]VBĂ&#x2021;\XRd[cdaTP]S[XeX]VcaPSXcX^]b ~ ;^^Z^dcU^aPaRcXR ^aPP]SUPd]PX]R[dSX]VaTX]STTaP]SPW^bc^U birdlife, from owls to seabirds

Day 2 Morning: local walks around the forest and lake surrounding our hotel. Afternoon: boat trip on Lake Inari to Ukko Island (Sami sacrificial site until 19th century), returning to Inari on foot via Pielpajärvi 18th century Wilderness Church (approx 7km).


he most northerly extremes of mainland Europe are a sparsely populated world of magical landscapes, unique culture and wonderful wildlife. From our first base in Finnish Lapland we shall explore the surrounding taiga forest, alive with reindeer, Siberian jays, woodpeckers and owls, and discover the homeland of the indigenous SĂĄmi people. We shall spend a day in the Lemmenjoki National Park, Finlandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest national park and one of the largest uninhabited wilderness areas in Europe, and watch for birds along the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;river of goldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Whilst here, we take the time to investigate the fascinating SĂĄmi culture and living traditions, with visits to Ukko Island and Siida, the SĂĄmi Museum and Northern Lapland Nature Centre. We continue our journey north into Norway, travelling alongside the Varanger Fjord where the forests give way to tundra and dramatic coastline. The north Norwegian coast represents one of the most accessible examples of Arctic habitat to be found in mainland Europe, and during our stay here our visits will include Ekkerøy Nature Reserve, home to over 50 species of bird including thousands of pairs of breeding kittiwakes, and the ancient arctic landscape of Varangerhalvøya National Park, where gyrfalcons and lemmings are among our possible sightings. One of the highlights of our trip will be the opportunity to drive out to Hamningberg, one of the northernmost points of mainland Europe and a prime location for sea-watching. From here we will look out for sea-eagles, kittiwakes and fulmars, as well as possible Stellerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eiders and skuas. We stay first at Hotel Korpikartano in the heart of Finnish Lapland, located in beautiful natural surroundings on the banks of the wilderness lake of Menesjärvi. Our second base will be the Vadsø Fjordhotell, situated on Vadsøya Island, a short walk from the small town centre. Participants should be comfortable walking over sometimes rugged terrain, and a good level of fitness is required for this tour. The group size is limited to 15.

Day 3 Morning in Lemmenjoki National Park (4km walk along river and through pine forest). Afternoon boat trip to Ravadas Waterfalls along River Lemmenjoki. Day 4 Bird-watching in the Ivalo River delta (looking out for cranes, short-eared owls, wood sandpipers) followed by Siida SĂĄmi Museum and Nature Centre (presenting the spiritual and material culture of the Finnish SĂĄmi). Day 5 Travel north into Norway, with stops for bird-watching, to Vadsø, for four nights at Vadsø Fjordhotell. Day 6 Whole day in the Ekkerøy Nature Reserve (possibly Stellerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eiders, sea eagles, purple sandpipers, razorbills, Lapland buntings and many waders). Day 7 Whole day in the Varangerhalvøya National Park (searching for gyrfalcons, ptarmigans, mountain hares). Day 8 Vardø for striking Steilneset Memorial (dedicated to 91 people executed for witchcraft in the 17th century), followed by drive towards Hamningberg (one of the most northern points in mainland Europe) stopping en route for rock formations, seabirds and walking. Day 9 Return to Ivalo for morning flight to London via Helsinki with Finnair. Cost of ÂŁ2295 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, six lunches (some packed), dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities. Not included: travel insurance, single room supplement ÂŁ265.


CWXbc^dafX[[QT[TSQhR^]bTaePcX^]XbcP]S^a]XcW^[^VXbcKevin Hand, <BR<2844<0]T]eXa^]\T]cP[R^]bd[cP]cfXcWPb_TRXP[X]cTaTbcX] QXaSb\P\\P[bP]STR^c^daXb\:TeX]eXbXcTS5X][P]SP]S=^afPh[Pbc year in preparation for this brand new tour, and is excited to return with a

BOOK NOW: 01223 841055




South Africa: Flowers of the Fairest Cape SEPTEMBER 1â&#x20AC;&#x201C;16, 2017 This tour is offered in association with Fauna & Flora International

~ CaPeT[cWa^dVWcWT\PV]X RT]cbRT]Tah^UcWT2P_TUa^\bP]Sh coastlines to rugged mountains, at a time when the landscape is RPa_TcTSfXcWSPii[X]VSXb_[Phb^Ub_aX]V ^fTab

ITINERARY Day 1 Depart London Heathrow 2135 on British Airways.

~ 3XbR^eTab^\T^UcWT ]TbcQ^cP]XRVPaST]bX]cWTf^a[SX]R[dSX]V Kirstenbosch in Cape Town

Day 2 Arrive Cape Town 1000 and transfer to Portswood Hotel for four nights. Afternoon walk in old town and harbour and visit to Sea Point (Darwin plaque). Introductory lecture.

~ 4]Y^hf^]STaUd[fX[S[XUTUa^\P]cT[^_TbiTQaPbP]SfWP[Tbc^ ostriches and seabirds

Day 3 Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (established in 1913 and one of the finest botanic gardens in the world), Rondevlei Nature Reserve (wetland habitat home to around 230 bird species).


he Cape Floral Region is tiny â&#x20AC;&#x201C; only two-thirds the size of England â&#x20AC;&#x201C; yet it contains about 9000 species, one fifth of all the plant species of Africa. Of these, 70% are endemic. It is the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most diverse botanical hot-spot and recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. On this tour, we will experience the floral abundance as we travel from sandy coasts carpeted with daisy family species, through clay soils with beautiful bulbs, to rocky mountains and rivers with shrubs of the Protea family. Our journey starts in Cape Town, in the shadow of Table Mountain, where the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are among the most beautiful in the world. We then spend time in the Cederberg Mountains wilderness area, dominated by contorted sandstone rock formations, and pay a visit to Lambertâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bay Bird Island, home to a huge colony of Cape gannets. We shall stop in at Karoo Desert National Botanical Gardens, where colourful indigenous succulents thrive alongside a fine collection of other desert plants such as aloes, en route to our base at De Hoop. This coastal limestone nature reserve is a haven for terrestrial and marine mammals alike, and we may be lucky enough to see southern right whales when they come in to calve. One type of vegetation unique to the Cape is known as fynbos, which is dominated by huge numbers of different flowering shrubs all with tough, fine leaves. This is a fire-dominated ecosystem and we will see many burnt areas in different stages of regeneration, often carrying dazzling floral displays. Associated with the Cape flora is a unique assemblage of wildlife. We will look for glorious iridescent sunbirds and long-tailed Cape sugarbirds on the Protea flowers, while, on the coasts, we will encounter black oystercatchers, Cape gannets and breeding African penguins. Here and there ostriches graze alongside tortoises, whilst the beautifully marked bontebok is an antelope only found in fynbos.

Day 4 Cable car up Table Mountain. Afternoon: Chapmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Peak Drive, Kommetjie beach, Boulders penguin colony. Day 5 Cape Point Reserve and Cape of Good Hope (spectacular scenery, home to several species of antelope and around 250 species of bird). Afternoon: Cape Point (lighthouse), Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre and Buffels Bay. Day 6 Drive north along the coast via Blaauwberg Conservation Area to Darling Village and Tienie Versfeld Reserve. Afternoon at Langebaan and Postberg Reserves. Continue to Citrusdal for three nights at the Citrusdal Country Lodge. Day 7 Via Clanwilliam and the Pakhuis Pass to the Cederberg Wilderness Area. Afternoon walk along Sevilla rock art trail beside the Brandewyn River. Day 8 Ramskop Nature Reserve (350 different wildflower species), Lambertâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bay for Bird Island Nature Reserve (seabirds including Cape gannets and cormorants). Day 9 Depart for De Hoop Reserve, with stops at Karoo Desert National Botanical Gardens and Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve. Three nights in De Hoop Reserve accommodation. Day 10 Morning around De Hoop Reserve for limestone fynbos and wildlife. Afternoon: Koppie Alleen for coastal vegetation and whale watching. Day 11 Optional early morning walk for bird-watching, followed by Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust (FFI-supported) and Potberg Mountains. Day 12 Flower Valley Conservation Trust (FFI-supported), followed by Fernkloof Nature Reserve. Three nights at Misty Waves Hotel, Hermanus. Day 13 The Hangklip Coast: Harold Porter National Botanic Garden (rich coastal fynbos) and Pringle Bay. Day 14 Kogelberg Nature Reserve (walk along Palmiet River) and Oudebosch trail in Kogelberg, followed by Rooisand Nature Reserve. Day 15 Return to Cape Town via Sir Lowryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pass and Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve. Depart Cape Town 1920. Day 16 Arrive Heathrow 0650. Cost of ÂŁ3695 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, 13 lunches (some packed), 13 dinners with water, excursions & admissions, gratuities. Not included: travel insurance, single room supplement ÂŁ320.

This tour will be led by botanist John Parker<03?WX[5;BE<7 U^a\Ta[h?a^UTbb^a^U?[P]c2hc^VT]TcXRb3XaTRc^a^UcWTD]XeTabXch1^cP]XR 6PaST]P]S2daPc^a^UcWTD]XeTabXch7TaQPaXd\Pc2P\QaXSVTD]XeTabXch 9^W]WPbbTaeTSPbPCadbcTT^UcWTA^hP[1^cP]XR6PaST]b:Tf7TWPb QTT]caPeT[[X]Vc^cWTFTbcTa]2P_T^UB^dcW0UaXRPbX]RT ('#


BOOK NOW: 01223 841055

We stay in comfortable, characterful hotels. Our itinerary will include b^\T[^]VR^PRWY^da]ThbQP[P]RTSQhUaT`dT]cbc^_bU^abXVWcbTTX]V


Fauna & Flora International We are delighted to offer this tour in association with Fauna & Flora InternationalP]SfTfX[[eXbXccf^558bd__^acTS_a^YTRcb SdaX]V^dacaX_CWT>eTaQTaVAT]^bcTaeT[S2^]bTaePcX^]Cadbc QPbTSPc7PPafTVbZ[^^UATbTaeTf^aZbc^R^]bTaeTcWXbWdVT[h species-rich shrubland ecosystem that has diminished to just 5%

of its former extent as a result of agriculture, whilst the Flower EP[[Th2^]bTaePcX^]Cadbc_a^cTRcb^eTa$%WTRcPaTb^U Uh]Q^bcWa^dVWbdbcPX]PQ[TWPaeTbcX]V8]Q^cW[^RPcX^]b[^RP[558 aT_aTbT]cPcXeTbfX[[X]ca^SdRTdbc^cWTXaUPbRX]PcX]Vf^aZ


Corsica: Rugged Isle of Beauty SEPTEMBER 10â&#x20AC;&#x201C;17, 2017

~ 4g_[^aTcWTSXeTabTbRT]Tah^U2^abXRPPcPcX\TfWT]R^\U^acPQ[T cT\_TaPcdaTbP]SeTaSP]c[P]SbRP_Tb\PZTU^a^]TcWT\^bc_[TPbP]c \^]cWbc^eXbXc

ITINERARY Day 1 Depart Stansted 0800 on Titan Airways, arriving Calvi 1310. Transfer to Corte for four nights at the HĂ´tel Duc de Padoue. Introductory lecture.

~ >daXcX]TaPahX]R[dSTbQTPdcXUd[fP[ZbX]cWTV^aVTbP]SWX[[bPa^d]S 2^acTP]ScWa^dVWcWTEXiiPe^]P_X]TU^aTbcb

Day 2 Morning: walking tour in gorges and hills around Corte. Afternoon: Corte Museum (Corsican artefacts housed in the former barracks), citadel (the only inland military stronghold).

~ ;^^Z^dcU^aXb[P]S ^aPP]SUPd]PUa^\cWTR[PbbXR<TSXcTaaP]TP] \P`dXbP]SVPaaXVdT[P]SbRP_Tbc^R^Pbc[X]TbcTT\X]VfXcW\PaX]T[XUT


Day 3 AlĂŠria: coastal lagoons, winery tour. Lunch at local farm followed by Roman ruins and museum. Free evening.

orsica is one of the jewels of the Mediterranean, shaped by time and natural forces into an island of contrasting geography. The rugged scenery of the interior is dominated by high, snow-capped granite mountains with steep roads twisting and opening onto gorges offering stunning mountain trails. The coastline varies from spectacular cliffs and islets in the west to shores of pristine white sand beaches and lagoons in the east. There are many endemic plant and bird species of interest within the classic Mediterranean maquis and garrigue landscapes. Highlights of our trip will include walks in the gorges and hills around Corte and through the Vizzavona pine forests. We will also look at the historical and archaeological aspects of Corsica including the Roman site at AlĂŠria, where the remains of a town, villa and necropolis are still being excavated. Calvi, an ochre-tinged town built around a beautiful citadel with three immense bastions, sits in the Balagne region of northwest Corsica. From here we enjoy a boat trip along the inaccessible cliff coast and visit the peninsula of Scandola, part of the Regional Natural Park of Corsica, which covers roughly one third of the entire island. Here the sky plays host to cormorants and sea eagles while islets and caves are teeming with marine life. Participants should be comfortable walking over sometimes rugged terrain, and a good level of fitness is required for this tour. Our first four nights are spent in Corte, the heart of the granite Corsican mountains, at the three-star Hotel Duc de Padoue. We then move northwest to Calvi, for three nights at the Hotel Le Rocher. Dinners will be taken at local restaurants.

Day 4 Whole day walking tour around Vizzavona village and through surrounding beech and pine forests. Day 5 Transfer to Calvi for three nights at Hotel Le Rocher. Stops en route for mountain walks. Day 6 Boat trip to Scandola nature reserve (UNESCO World Heritage site with stunning porphyritic rock formations), and Girolata (beautiful village only accessible by foot or boat). Free evening. Day 7 Whole day excursion to Ile Rousse (market town nestled in the Balagne hills), followed by nearby Parc de Saleccia (botanical gardens). Day 8 Morning walk around Calvi citadel (old town and 15th century military outpost). Depart Calvi 1410, arriving Stansted 1530. Cost of ÂŁ2095 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, four lunches (two picnic) & five dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities. Not included: travel insurance, single room supplement ÂŁ275.


CWXbc^dafX[[QT[TSQhR^]bTaePcX^]XbcP]S]PcdaP[XbcPeter Exley, BSc, who has led many ACE tours in the UK and abroad and currently works for the RSPB. He will be joined by wildlife specialist Diana Ward, MSc, CBiol, MCIEEM.

BOOK NOW: 01223 841055



New Caledonia: Heart of the Pacific OCTOBER 7â&#x20AC;&#x201C;23, 2017

~ 5[^PcX]VX]PSPii[X]Vca^_XRP[[PV^^]cWTXb[P]Sb^U=Tf2P[TS^]XP QTRZ^]cWTcaPeT[[TafXcWcWTXaTgcaP^aSX]Pah]PcdaP[WXbc^ahP]S d]X`dTRd[cdaT

ITINERARY Day 1 Depart Heathrow 0945 on overnight flights.

~ 0S\XaT5aT]RWR^[^]XP[PaRWXcTRcdaTP]SX]SXVT]^db:P]PZRd[cdaP[ WTaXcPVTX]cWTRP_XcP[=^d\Ă?PcWTz?PaXb^UcWT?PRX R{

Day 2 Arrive NoumĂŠa 2250 and transfer for three nights at HĂ´tel Le Lagon, located moments from Anse Vata Bay.

~ FP]STacWa^dVW_aX\XcXeTU^aTbcbbTT\X]V[h[TUcUa^\P]TPa[XTaPVT P]S[^^Z^dcU^acWTaPaTZPVd=Tf2P[TS^]XP{b]PcX^]P[QXaS

Day 3 NoumĂŠa: Museum of New Caledonia (indigenous culture), Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre (celebration of Kanak cultural heritage).


Day 4 Further visits in NoumĂŠa: MusĂŠe de la Ville de NoumĂŠa (early colonial), followed by Nouville (convict settlement remains).

nce part of the Gondwana supercontinent, the islands of New Caledonia splintered from Australia roughly 66 million years ago, bequeathing them a unique natural history. Today, the exceptionally biodiverse archipelago is home to an overwhelming assortment of endemic species. The oldest flowering plant still alive in the world, Amborella, grows only here, whilst the islandsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; tropical lagoons and coral reefs are listed by UNESCO for their extraordinary ecological variety and exceptional natural beauty. Our tour of the main island, Grande Terre, begins in the capital, NoumĂŠa. Attractive French colonial architecture lines the streets, but the sandalwood trade, infamous practice of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;blackbirdingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, and use of the islands as a penal colony have also left their mark. We shall acquaint ourselves with the indigenous Kanak culture during a visit to the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, whose striking architecture combines modern techniques with traditional vernacular design. In the less-visited north of the island, the landscape is dotted with Melanesian villages, coconut palms and beautiful beaches. Dramatic coastal rock formations are a particular feature here, and a boat trip will take us into the lagoon surrounded by spectacular 400ft-high black cliffs. Later we travel from the main island to the tranquil Ă&#x17D;le des Pins, 70km off the coast. Known as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;the closest island to Paradiseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, its white sand beaches, turquoise lagoons and lush tropical vegetation are home to a rich array of flora and fauna. Our tour concludes in the deep south of Grande Terre, where we will visit the Blue River Provincial Park. Here 9000 hectares of wild country are home to giant kaori trees â&#x20AC;&#x201C; some almost a millennium old â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as well as the largest wild colony of the distinctive and endangered kagu, New Caledoniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique national bird. Travel is by air-conditioned minibus throughout. There will be some longer journeys, with frequent stops at places of interest. We stay at a range of small hotels, all with private facilities.

Day 5 Morning at the Parc Zoologique et Forestier (endemic birds). Drive north along the coast via sculpture park and mangrove walk at La Foa. Overnight stay at HĂ´tel La NĂŠa, KonĂŠ. Day 6 Trip on foot (4x4 or flight alternatives available at a supplement) to view the famous Coeur de Voh (mangrove vegetation naturally formed into the shape of a heart). Continue north for overnight stay at the Malabou Beach Hotel. Day 7 Drive to Hienghène for Goa Ma Bwarhat Cultural Centre and afternoon cruise around dramatic coastal rock features. Two nights in Hotel KoulnouĂŠ Village, Hienghène. Day 8 Short boat ride to the marine sanctuary of Ă&#x17D;lot Hienga (lush forest and opportunity for guided snorkelling in the protected lagoon). Free afternoon in Hienghène. Day 9 Transfer to the mountains at SarramĂŠa, and discover the special plants that live in this inhospitable environment. Overnight stay at HĂ´tel Evasion, SarramĂŠa. Day 10 Whole day excursion to the Parc des Grandes Fougères (giant tree ferns). Return to NoumĂŠa for two nights at HĂ´tel Le Lagon. Day 11 Day at leisure in NoumĂŠa. Day 12 Early morning transfer by ferry to Ă&#x17D;le des Pins for a day exploring the islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lagoons and rainforests. Overnight stay at Oure Tera Beach Resort. Day 13 Return flight to NoumĂŠa and travel to Prony Village (the penal heritage of the island). Continue south to Port BoisĂŠ for three nights at Kanua Tera Ecolodge. Day 14 Morning boat trip to uninhabited island bird sanctuary (breeding seabird colonies) followed by Cape Nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Dua nature reserve (stunning natural cliffs and bays). Day 15 Whole day excursion to the Blue River Provincial Park (native flora and fauna, including giant kauri trees and the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest population of wild kagu). Day 16 Return to NoumĂŠa via Madeleine Waterfalls Provincial Reserve (botanical trails with rich flora). Dinner by the coast before transferring to the airport. Day 17 Depart NoumĂŠa 0010, arriving Heathrow 1830. Cost of ÂŁ6045 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, 13 lunches, 13 dinners with water, excursions & admissions, gratuities. Not included: travel insurance, optional 4x4 or flight alternatives, single room supplement ÂŁ670.


This tour will be led by Mark Hanger<0PVaPSdPcT^U>cPV^D]XeTabXch and experienced botanist and ornithologist. Mark is the Director of Nature @dTbc=TfITP[P]S;cSP]S3T_dch?aTbXST]c^U=TfITP[P]S{b[PaVTbc R^]bTaePcX^]^aVP]XbPcX^]cWTA^hP[5^aTbcP]S1XaS?a^cTRcX^]B^RXTch

BOOK NOW: 01223 841055



Wildlife of Albania OCTOBER 13â&#x20AC;&#x201C;20, 2017

~ D]R^eTaP[Xcc[TeXbXcTS4da^_TP]VT\fWTaTb]^fRP__TS\^d]cPX]b _[d]VTX]c^QaXVWcQ[dTbTPbRWPa\X]VeX[[PVTb]Tbc[TP\^]VbccWT forested landscape, and coastal lagoons teem with birdlife

ITINERARY Day 1 Depart Gatwick 0825 on British Airways, arriving Tirana 1225. Transfer to Pogradec for overnight stay at Hotel Enkelana.

~ BTPaRWU^acWTaPaT3P[\PcXP]_T[XRP]SdaX]VPQ^PccaX_^]6aTPc Prespa Lake

Day 2 Morning visits to Lake Ohrid and Lin (ruined paleochristian church with beautiful views and floor mosaics). Afternoon: continue to the mountain village of VoskopojĂŤ for three nights at Hotel Pashuta.

~ ;^^Z^dcU^afTc[P]SQXaS[XUTP]S\XVaPcX]VfPSTab^]cWTz0[QP]XP] AXeXTaP{


Day 3 Walks in the woodland around VoskopojĂŤ (Scots pine, silver fir, Valonia oak) and exploration of the town (St Nicholasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Church with wonderful frescoes, and other monasteries).

he tectonic lakes of Ohrid and Prespa are some of the oldest lakes in the world and form an area of extraordinary beauty and biodiversity. Surrounded by high mountain peaks and centuries-old juniper forests, the region is home to several species found nowhere else in the world, while the surrounding wetlands and reedbeds provide habitat for hundreds of thousands of wintering water birds. Our tour includes a boat trip on Great Prespa Lake to Maligrad Island, keeping watch along the way for the lakeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most famous residents, the rare Dalmatian pelican, as well as hundreds of pygmy cormorants. We shall spend three nights in the mountain village of VoskopojĂŤ, an important cultural centre during its glory days around 1750. At its zenith, the city was bigger than Athens and housed a university and a printing press â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the second in the Ottoman Empire after that of Constantinople. The small town will be our base for local forest walks, looking out for varied birdlife including goshawk, red-backed shrike and hawfinch amongst the pine, fir, beech and oak. Our tour will then transfer to the coastal town of VlorĂŤ, surrounded by mountains and overlooking the Adriatic Sea. The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Albanian Rivieraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is a patchwork of different habitats, from the forested mountains of Llogara National Park to the lagoons of Orikum, Narta and Divjaka-Karavasta. Whilst here we look out for wetland birdlife including flamingo, great white egret, avocet and spoonbill, as well as numerous migrating waders from Russia and north-eastern Europe. We stay at three-star hotels throughout. Maximum group size is 15. Participants should be comfortable walking over sometimes rugged terrain, and a good level of fitness is required for this tour.

Day 4 Whole day excursion to Lake Prespa for local walks and boat trip to Maligrad Island: rare Dalmatian pelicans, pygmy cormorant, 14th century Eastern Orthodox cave church of St Mary. Day 5 Transfer via Elbasan to coastal town of VlorĂŤ for two nights at Hotel Partner. Day 6 Llogara National Park: pine forests with trees shaped by the wind, breathtaking views, habitat for abundant wildlife including migrating birds of prey such as short-toed eagle and steppe buzzard, followed by Orikum Lagoon: reedbeds, wetland birdlife. Day 7 Narta Lagoon: salt pans with wide variety of avifauna including black-necked grebe, Mediterranean gull and ferruginous duck. Afternoon at Divjaka-Karavasta National Park: lagoons, sand dunes, pine forest, colony of Dalmatian pelicans. Overnight stay at Divjaka Resort. Day 8 Transfer to Tirana for 1310 departure, arriving Gatwick 1515. Cost of ÂŁ1845 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, full board with wine & water with dinner, excursions & admissions, gratuities. Not included: travel insurance, single room supplement ÂŁ100.


CWXbc^dafX[[QT[TSQhR^]bTaePcX^]XbcP]S^a]XcW^[^VXbcKevin Hand, <BR<2844<0]T]eXa^]\T]cP[R^]bd[cP]cfXcWPb_TRXP[X]cTaTbcX] QXaSb\P\\P[bP]STR^c^daXb\:TeX]WPbad]fX[S[XUTc^dabU^a024 since 1992.

BOOK NOW: 01223 841055



Sardinia: Birds, Flowers & Nuraghi APRIL, 2018

~ 3XbR^eTaBPaSX]XP{b\PV]X RT]c ^aPP]SUPd]PX]PePaXTch^UWPQXcPcb including coastal lagoons, cork oak woodland and karstic mountain landscapes

ITINERARY Day 1 Depart Stansted on Ryanair, arriving Alghero. Continue to lakeside town of Cabras for four nights at Villa Canu.

~ 4gP\X]TcWTXb[P]S{b\hbcTaX^db1a^]iT0VTRXeX[XbPcX^]cWa^dVWXcb RWPaPRcTaXbcXRRXaRd[Pac^fTab]daPVWX

Day 2 Morning: lagoons at Marina di Torre Grande (flamingos, stilts, ospreys, salt-water plants), 5th century church of San Giovanni di Sinis. Afternoon: Tharros (substantial Punic and Roman ruins) on beautiful Mediterranean peninsula then Cabras Museum (introduction to mysterious prehistoric Nuraghic civilisation, including huge statues).

~ 0WXVW[XVWcfX[[QTcWT6a^ccPST[1dT<PaX]^PU^aTbc^UbcP[PV\XcTb and stalactites that was once the last refuge of the monk seal


ased in the beautiful lakeside town of Cabras, where the local fishermen still set out to sea in traditional reed boats, and Cala Gonone, bordering one of the most scenic stretches of the Mediterranean, this tour ranges over Sardiniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rugged interior and coastal waters. At the lagoons of Marina di Torre Grande we are likely to see flamingos, stilts and ospreys, whilst Mari e Pauli and Sale Porcus offer opportunities to spot rare water birds such as the purple gallinule, the great white egret and the red-crested pochard. On the high basalt plateau of Gesturi we will meander through forests of cork oaks and survey the bountiful streams and pools for migrant birds â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with the hope, too, of encountering a variety of orchids and the islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wild ponies. The substantial Punic and Roman ruins at Tharros, standing high above the Mediterranean, attest to Sardiniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vibrant history, as does the pilgrimage town of San Salvatore, where the local church bestrides an underground sanctuary once dedicated to pagan worship. As well as surveying Sardiniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s abundant fauna and flora, this tour will introduce participants to the islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s complex history, in particular its mysterious Nuraghic civilisation. The most striking evidence of this indigenous Bronze Age race can be seen in the circular stone towers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; nuraghi â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that are dotted across the island. The UNESCO-protected complex at Su Nuraxi di Barumini, which includes a defensive stronghold and surrounding village, is an unparalleled surviving monument from the ancient world. In Cabras we stay at the three-star Villa Canu, a small and simple family hotel, and in Cala Gonone our home will be the four-star Hotel Costa Dorada.

Day 3 Lagoons of Mari e Pauli and Sale Porcus (purple gallinule, great white egret, red-crested pochard) then Su Pallosu for walk through coastal garrigue vegetation of dunes and cliffs to Aragonese defensive tower (coastal macchia, marmoraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s warbler). Afternoon: church of San Salvatore (underground pagan sanctuary, pilgrim huts). Day 4 High basalt plateau of Gesturi: walk through cork oak woodland (sand crocus, streams and pools) for migrant birds, woodlarks, wild ponies. Afternoon: Su Nuraxi (one of most impressive Nuraghic sites with huge towers). Day 5 Via Nuraghic site of Santa Cristina (wonderfully-preserved sacred well) and giantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tomb of Sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Ena e Thomes to beautiful coastal village of Cala Gonone for three nights at Hotel Costa Dorada. Day 6 Whole day excursion by boat to sea cave of Bue Marino (Audouinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gulls, huge stalagmites), picnic on secluded beach and lagoon of Cala Luna. Day 7 Supramonte Mountains: eagles, barbary partridge, wildflowers (including wild cyclamen and peonies) followed by walk around coastal Nuraghic tower and village (superb views). Evening: traditional dinner on local farm. Day 8 Transfer to Alghero via impressive nuraghe at Santu Antine for 1430 return flight, arriving Stansted 1605. Dates and price to be released in the summer of 2017. Some itinerary details may be subject to change. Contact the ACE office now to register your interest.


CWXbc^dafX[[QT[TSQhR^]bTaePcX^]Xbc^a]XcW^[^VXbcP]ST]eXa^]\T]cP[ consultant Kevin Hand<BR<2844<:TeX]WPbRPaaXTS^dcTgcT]bXeT fieldwork in the UK and abroad, and has run tours to Sardinia for ACE for many years.

BOOK NOW: 01223 841055



Wildlife in Norfolk JANUARY 22â&#x20AC;&#x201C;25, 2018

~ 4g_TaXT]RT^]T^U1aXcPX]{b\^bcUP\^dbQXaSfPcRWX]Va^dcTbPc 2[ThfWTaTaTTSQTSbQTPRWTb\PabWTbP]S[PV^^]b_a^eXSTP]XSTP[ sanctuary

ITINERARY Day 1 Assemble 1530 at Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lynn railway station for transfer by coach to Hunstanton, for three nights at Le Strange Arms Hotel. Evening: sherry reception and introductory talk.

~ ;^^Z^dcU^a^]T^UcWT\^bcX\_aTbbXeTbTP[R^[^]XTbX]4]V[P]SPc atmospheric Blakeney Point ~ 4]Y^hP\^^][XVWcbfP]fPcRWUa^\PWTPcTSWXSTPcFT[]Th

Day 2 Titchwell Marsh: large hides for close views of geese, waders, gulls and rarer birds. Afternoon: Holkham for pink-footed geese, possible snow buntings and shore larks.


he wetland reserves of Norfolk are internationally renowned for their unspoilt coastlines and outstanding natural habitats. With its vast skies and shimmering frosts, winter offers one of the very best environments to experience the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rich and dynamic wildlife â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from rapidly wheeling migratory flocks to the grey seals that visit each winter to birth their pups. Our four-day tour will focus particularly on the birdwatching opportunities for which Norfolk is famous, both for beginners and more experienced observers, with local wardens sharing their unparalleled knowledge of the reserves. At Cley, where the salt marshes and sand dunes are of major importance for over-wintering birds, we will follow one of the most celebrated bird-watching routes in Britain. The RSPB reserve at Titchwell, meanwhile, offers remarkably close views of geese, waders and gulls; and at the Ouse Washes at Welney, we will take part in a moonlight swan watch from the comfort of a heated hide. At Snettisham on the Wash, Britainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most vital estuary for wintering birds, we look out for knot, godwits and oystercatchers soaring over the mud flats â&#x20AC;&#x201C; while stately Holkham Park offers us possible sightings of flocks of pink-footed geese, marsh harriers and barn owls. A highlight of our tour will be an excursion by boat off Blakeney Point, during which we hope to spot seals, waders, divers and grebes. We stay in Old Hunstanton at the well-situated threestar Le Strange Arms Hotel.

Day 3 Beach walk for waders, seabirds and fulmar pairs already on the cliffs followed by Snettisham: thousands of godwits, knot and oystercatchers. Afternoon: Ouse Washes for dusk observation of Bewickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and whooper swans and more. Day 4 Morston Quay for boat trip around Blakeney Point (waders, grebes and seals) followed by Blakeney Marshes and Cley (one of the most famous bird walks in Britain). Tour disperses late afternoon at Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lynn railway station via hotel. Price and further details to be released in the summer of 2017. Some itinerary details may be subject to change. Contact the ACE office now to register your interest.


This tour will be led by Kevin Hand<BR<2844<R^]bTaePcX^]Xbc ^a]XcW^[^VXbcP]ST]eXa^]\T]cP[R^]bd[cP]cfW^WPbQTT][TPSX]VfX[S[XUT c^dabU^a024bX]RT ((!:TeX]WPbRPaaXTS^dcTgcT]bXeT T[Sf^aZX]R[dSX]VQXaSP]SP]X\P[bdaeThbX]cWTD:P]SPQa^PSP]SWPbaTRT]c[h completed a successful project helping hard to reach groups to access the British countryside.

BOOK NOW: 01223 841055



Wild Romania MAY, 2018 This tour is offered in association with Fauna & Flora International

~ 4g_[^aTA^\P]XP{bQaTPcWcPZX]V[P]SbRP_TbP]SaXRWSXeTabXch^U ^aP and fauna, alongside its fascinating local culture


~ EXbXcPQTPaWXSTX]cWTWXVW2Pa_PcWXP]<^d]cPX]bP]STg_[^aTcWT habitats of such animals as the wolf and the lynx

Day 1 Depart Heathrow on British Airways, arriving Bucharest. Transfer to Magura for three nights at Villa Hermani.

~ BTT_X^]TTaX]VR^]bTaePcX^]X]PRcX^]P]S\TTc558bcPUUP]ScWTXaX] R^d]cah_Pac]Tab034?C5^d]SPcX^]P]SIPaP]S0bb^RXPcX^]f^aZX]V ^]cWTUa^]c[X]T^UR^]bTaePcX^]

Day 2 Morning: explore the villages within the Piatra Craiului National Park examining the local way of life and looking for orchids and other grassland flowers. Afternoon: seek signs of wolves, lynx and wild boar.


Day 3 Morning: Zarnesti Gorge walk (200m high walls and many species of plants). Afternoon: further exploration of the Piatra Craiului National Park followed by observation of brown bears from a specially constructed hide (conditions permitting).

rom its vast areas of undisturbed forest to the dramatic peaks of the Carpathian Mountains, Romania in southeastern Europe has some of the finest landscapes and most diverse flora and fauna to be found in the continent. Our specially-crafted tour, created in association with Flora & Fauna International (FFI), offers a unique opportunity to discover the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s captivating natural history, alongside the remarkably rich cultural legacies of its historic towns and cities â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Sighisoara with its superb â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;citadelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, and Sibiu in Transylvania. Romaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stunning Carpathian landscape continues to shelter the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surviving larger carnivores, including bears and wolves. We will explore the mountains from our base within the Piatra Craiului National Park, which also houses The Large Carnivore Centre. We will have an opportunity to discover a bear hide and investigate the habitats of such animals as the wolf and the lynx. Complementing these experiences will be a visit to the Zarnesti Gorge with its soaring 200m high vertical walls, where we keep an eye open for lesser spotted eagles, woodpeckers, wallcreepers and alpine swifts. Our tour will include two special FFI visits. Nested within the Târnava Mare landscapes are unique features known as tumps or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;movilesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; natural structures which support exceptionally high pockets of botanical diversity. Here, FFI and their partner, ADEPT, work with farmers and local communities to protect these threatened grasslands and the communities that live within them. We will also pay a visit to the Zarand corridor, an FFI initiative to protect one of Romaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most important and threatened landscapes and the last remaining biodiverse habitat corridor linking the Western and Southern Carpathians. Walks are suitable for those with good mobility, and will include plenty of stops for wildlife spotting and photography. We will rest and lunch during the hottest parts of the day. In the Piatra Craiului National Park we stay at Villa Hermani in the small village of Magura, and in the historic centre of Brasov we stay at the Hotel Bella Muzica. We shall spend one night at Hanul Cetatii in Saschiz, before transferring to our final base at the Pensiunea President, Deva.

Day 4 Transfer to Brasov: walking tour of old town, followed by woodland walk from area of Poiana Brasov to the slopes of Tampa (ending with breathtaking views, access by foot and cable car). Overnight stay at the Hotel Bella Muzica. Day 5 Drive to Saschiz for visit to FundaČ&#x203A;ia ADEPT (office visit, meet ADEPT staff, see community activities). Afternoon visit to Apold and Daia for walk to see the unique movile. Overnight stay at Hanul Cetatii, Saschiz. Day 6 Morning visit to SighiČ&#x2122;oara (UNESCO World Heritage site, with local guide). Afternoon transfer to Deva for two nights at the Pensiunea President. Day 7 Visit to Petris for the Zarand corridor to see project activities and walk in the landscape. Depending on weather and ability there are options for either a 4 or 5 hour walk or a gentler 1.5 hour ridge walk. Day 8 Visit Sibiu (UNESCO World Heritage site) before afternoon departure on Austrian Airlines via Vienna, arriving Heathrow. Price and further details to be released in the summer of 2017. Contact the ACE office now to register your interest.


This tour will be led by Marcus Kohler, BA, ecologist, ornithologist and <P]PVX]V3XaTRc^aPcTR^[^VXRP[R^]bd[cP]Rh<:04R^[^Vh<PaRdbfW^ WPb[TSfX[S[XUTc^dabP[[^eTacWTf^a[SXbeXbXcX]VA^\P]XPX]! &X] preparation for this tour, and he is greatly looking forward to introducing the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s magical landscapes to an ACE group. During the second half of the trip, Marcus will be joined by FFI staff who, P[^]VfXcW[^RP[_Pac]TabfX[[VdXSTdbcWa^dVWcf^d]X`dT]PcdaP[P]S Rd[cdaP[[P]SbRP_TbfWTaTfTfX[[fXc]Tbb558{bR^]bTaePcX^]TUU^acb first-hand.

BOOK NOW: 01223 841055


Fauna & Flora International in Romania >eTaaTRT]chTPabcWT0245^d]SPcX^]WPbQTT]P_a^dSbd__^acTa of the work of Fauna & Flora International (FFI) in Romania, and we are delighted to offer this tour in association with them. FFIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work in Romania aims to build local and national capacity c^R^]bTaeT_aX^aXchb_TRXTbP]SWPQXcPcbX]cWXbRPbTQhf^aZX]V

R[^bT[hfXcW[^RP[_Pac]TabX]cWTR^d]cah1hSTeT[^_X]VbZX[[b X\_a^eX]VZ]^f[TSVTP]ScWa^dVW\T]c^aX]VP]STSdRPcX^]P[ bd__^accWThPX\c^T]bdaTcWPcR^]bTaePcX^]XbbdbcPX]PQ[TX] cWT[^]VcTa\X]fPhbcWPcbd__^accWTaTeXeP[^UcWT[^RP[Rd[cdaT and economy.


Iceland: History & Landscape JULY 8â&#x20AC;&#x201C;15, 2018

~ D]R^eTa8RT[P]S{bTgcaP^aSX]Pah]PcdaP[WXbc^ahcWa^dVWeXbXcbc^ bTeTaP[^UcWTR^d]cah{bV[PRXTabfPcTaUP[[bP]SbcTP\X]VeT]cb X]R[dSX]VXcb[PaVTbcXRTRP_EPc]PYĂ&#x153;Zd[[

ITINERARY Day 1 Depart Heathrow, arriving Keflavik. Transfer to Hotel Bifrost (Borgarfjordur region) for two nights.

~ 7Xbc^ahP]S[TVT]SR^\TP[XeTPccWTBTcc[T\T]c2T]caT<dbTd\ X]1^aVP]TbP]SPcD=4B2>[XbcTSCWX]VeT[[XaW^\Tc^^]T^UcWT oldest parliaments in the world

Day 2 Morning: Settlement Centre Museum in Borganes (introduction to Icelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Viking history). Afternoon: explore the birds and flowers amongst the moorland, lagoons and marshy tundra of the Borgarfjordur region.

~ ;^^Z^dcU^a_dU ]bP]S^cWTaQXaS[XUTPccWTR[XUUUPRTb^U3haW^[PTh fWTaTP]PcdaP[[hU^a\TSPaRWfPhbTaeTbPbbWT[cTa

Day 3 Golden Circle Visit to Thingvellir (historic parliament site and crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge), Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall. Overnight at Hotel Selfoss.


ising out of the North Atlantic, just south of the Arctic Circle, Iceland is a volcanic island alive with hot springs, geysers, boiling mud pots and stupendous waterfalls. Our eight-day tour concentrating on the western and southern coasts provides the perfect introduction to the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s austere beauty, its singular geology, and its incredible wildlife, as well as visiting some lesser-known sites. Travelling up Icelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s west coast, we head first to Borgarnes for an introduction to the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Viking history at the fascinating Settlement Centre Museum, whose exhibits covering the Saga era will set our trip in context. We shall also venture out to look for birds and flowers amongst the moorland, lagoons and marshy tundra of the Borgarfjordur region. Our third day takes us to the famous â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Golden Circleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;: Gullfoss waterfall, the eponymous Geysir, and Thingvellir, where Icelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s early settlers established their open-air assembly, one of the oldest parliaments in the world. Listed by UNESCO for its cultural importance, Thingvellir is also one of the few places in the world where the separation of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates can be observed. A day spent travelling into the interior Highlands will introduce us to some of the most beautiful wilderness landscapes in Iceland. Journeying around the spectacular southern edge of the VatnajĂśkull glacier, we shall walk to the snout of the Skaftafell glacier and make a stop at the otherworldly JĂśkulsĂĄrlĂłn lagoon, where luminous blue icebergs drift across the lake. Travelling back west we will visit waterfalls, cliffs that are home to a rich birdlife (hopefully including puffins, fulmars and guillemots), and local museums including one dedicated to the EyjafjallajĂśkull eruption of 2010. Accommodation outside Reykjavik can be of a relatively basic standard, but all rooms have private facilities. Breakfasts are buffet style and we will mostly enjoy picnic lunches. Participants should be comfortable walking over sometimes rugged terrain and a good level of fitness is required for this tour.

Day 4 Whole day excursion to the mountain ridge landscape of Thorsmork. Overnight at the Hotel Geirland, Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Day 5 Explore the coastal and glacial landscape dominated by VatnajĂśkull, Icelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest icecap, including an easy walk to view the snout of the Skaftafell glacier and its lagoon. Transfer to Hotel Skaftafell for two nights. Day 6 Further explorations of Skaftafell & VatnajĂśkull, including Jokulsarlon, the glacier lagoon, and Ingolfshofdi bird reserve (weather and birds permitting). Day 7 Travel west with possible stops at Vik, Dyrholaey cliffs, Solheimajokull (spectacular glacial tongue), Eyjafjallajokull Volcano Museum and Seljalandfoss (waterfall). Overnight at Hotel Selfoss. Day 8 Transfer to Keflavik for departure to Heathrow. Price and final details to be released in the summer of 2017. Contact the ACE office now to register your interest.

TOUR CODE: ICEL18 This tour will be led by geographer Harriet Allen, PhD, who has excT]bXeTTg_TaXT]RT^U8RT[P]S]^acWfTbcTa]2P]PSPP]S^cWTa0aRcXR and Sub-Arctic landscapes. A Fellow and Director of Studies at Girton 2^[[TVT2P\QaXSVT7PaaXTcWPbQTT][TPSX]V T[STgRdabX^]bU^a^eTa thirty years.

BOOK NOW: 01223 841055



TOGETHER ACE and Fauna & Flora International (FFI) are developing tours that encounter some of the sustainable conservation projects that FFI supports worldwide, including: South Africa: Flowers of the Fairest Cape (page 20) Wild Romania (page 32)

ACE CULTURAL TOURS ?A>E838=64G?4AC;43C>DA BB8=24 ($'

Stapleford Granary, Bury Road, Stapleford, Cambridge, CB22 5BP England 01223 841055 All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays in this brochure are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 for ACE Cultural Tours Limited, and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for the following: 1. non-flight packages commencing in and returning to the UK; 2. non-flight packages commencing and returning to a country other than the UK; and 3. flight inclusive packages that commence outside of the UK, which are sold to customers outside of the UK. 1, 2 and 3 provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled. 1 and 3 provides for repatriation. Please note that bookings made outside the UK are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with ACE Cultural Tours Limited.

ACE - Natural history brochure 2017  

Discover tours that blend natural history with regional culture.

ACE - Natural history brochure 2017  

Discover tours that blend natural history with regional culture.